Evanston's Community Lakehouse

There’s a solution and path forward for Evanston’s famous lakefront mansion, Harley Clarke, and the accompanying Jens Jensen gardens.

For the past year, the historic house and gardens have sat empty and endured discussions of demolition.

This summer, we seek your support in fundraising the first step toward transforming Harley Clarke into your community Lakehouse.

Over 60 years ago, in a town with disappearing beach access, the City of Evanston purchased the house and gardens to ensure residents could walk freely on a lakefront property, enjoy the landscape, use the interior space, and be inspired by its architecture.

With your support, we can continue this tradition.

We invite you to See The Vision and Read the FAQ’s at:


Your generosity begins the first step in creating a community Lakehouse for Evanston:

•      Historic preservation

•      Fully rehabbed space for community events

•      Environmental Programs: beach, dunes, lake, nature

•      New lake front patio with seating

•      New coach house café  (light-fare) 

•      Seasonal events and cultural festivities

Spread the word, share on Facebook and check back often. Your reward is in the making.

Sincerely and with much gratitude,
The volunteers of Evanston Lakehouse & Gardens, Registered Public Charity 501(c)(3)


To ensure transparency, GoFundMe  requests users to answer the following questions:

1. Who we are: 
Evanston Lakehouse & Gardens, a registered 501c3 nonprofit organization in Illinois dedicated to restoring historic Historic Harley Clarke as a public lakefront facility by transforming the property into an inspiring community lakefront destination for private and public events, environmental education, and cultural activity:  Evanstonlakehouse.org 

2. Where we’re from:
Founded in Evanston, IL, consisting of all local volunteer staff and professionals.

3. How the funds will be spent:
Every penny will be spent on the campaign to restore and transform Harley Clarke. The majority of the $150,000 will be spent on hiring professional fundraisers, and the subsequent capital campaign to raise a $3-4M Capital Fund needed to completely rehab and transform the property. The funds will also cover the cost of design renderings, architectural plans, marketing and grant writing to support the capital campaign. 

We are working with historic preservationists, landscape architects, finance experts and local Evanston architects and builders, some whom have completed Evanston’s most well-known, award winning historic restorations. 

Now we need your help. Donate today!

Donations may also be sent via check made payable to Evanston Lakehouse & Gardens. Please send all checks to:

Evanston Lakehouse & Gardens
819 Clinton Pl.
Evanston, IL 60201


Evanston Lakehouse & Gardens
Evanston, IL
Evanston Lake House & Gardens
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.

Your easy, powerful, and trusted home for help

  • Easy

    Donate quickly and easily.

  • Powerful

    Send help right to the people and causes you care about.

  • Trusted

    Your donation is protected by the  GoFundMe Giving Guarantee.